Paul Graham is a founder of Y Combinator, the famed accelerator in Silicon Valley that has spawned many champion startups, including Dropbox, Airbnb and Reddit.
Yet his personal website (paulgraham.com) eschews the blaring self-promotion we associate with our celebrity-mediated age. But don’t be deceived by its starkness or skip over the large chunks of text that pop up on his blog. Because Graham has an unusual Renaissance mind, and some of the insights offered by the understated technology veteran are relevant to creators in all fields,
Recently, the Salvator Mundi, a painting by Leonardo da Vinci that depicts Jesus Christ as the Savior of the World, shattered auction records, selling for a stunning $450 Million. Also, last year, the meticulous and imaginative Walter Isaacson, who was commissioned by Steve Jobs to document his own life, released a new biography of the Italian Maestro. Isaacson was inspired to delve into Da Vinci’s life because of Jobs’ intense veneration of the artist, scientist,
Many creators are told to steel themselves for rejection. However, most people expect to receive due credit for their work or talents after a reasonable period of struggle or anonymity. But what if that period were to last fifty-three years? What if a discovery you made at the age of 19 was to be adequately recognized only when you reached the age of 73? Can you still plod through the interim years,
Today 221 B Baker Street houses a museum. Sherlock Holmes, one of the most enduring literary characters created by a 20th Century author, still commands a massive and ardent following. He is so deeply woven into our collective imagination, that some people believe that he was a real historical figure. The four novels and fifty-six short stories spun by Arthur Conan Doyle have inspired countless spinoffs – other novels, plays, movies, short stories and TV series.
Most Mumbaikars would agree that the city has a distinct character. Some dwell on its resilience (its lightning-quick recovery after every monsoon flood), some on its diversity or syncretic character (though this has been shattered now and then by riots or by the growing stronghold of communal forces), some on its throbbing activity, some on its stark and rising inequalities (brilliantly chronicled in James Crabtree’s recent book, The Billionaire Raj).
Unlike many other great creators, Freud succeeded at school. According to Howard Gardner in Creating Minds, he had the kind of prodigious brain that could have mastered any of a diverse range of fields. But after gaining a medical degree, he deliberately chose not to establish a practice, because his greed for knowledge superseded his desire for respect inside Viennese circles.
Even later, his choice of domain was a risky undertaking.